What are the benefits of taking noni juice? Researchers are now investigating whether it may help treat common chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Additionally, there’s evidence it can be helpful for those dealing with joint pain, inflammatory skin conditions and digestive issues.
What Is Noni Juice?
Noni is a small, evergreen tree found in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, Australia and India that often grows among lava flows. It’s been used in folklore medicine for at least an estimated 2,000 years.
What is noni juice made out of? The noni tree, which goes by the scientific name Morinda citrifolia, grows a fruit that is bumpy and yellowish-white in color. The tree belongs to the Rubiaceae plant family, the same one that produces coffee beans.
Like many other fruits, noni fruit is squeezed into a juice and sold as such, but you can also get it as a juice concentrate or as a powder supplement. It’s often found in combination with grape juice because this helps hide the unpleasantly bitter taste it possesses.
Noni juice and fruit isn’t the only part of this tree that’s used to make medicine and supplements; the leaves, flowers, stems, bark and roots are also utilized in herbal and traditional systems of medicine. These parts are processed in various ways to make capsules, tablets and teas.
The popularity of noni as a supplement has grown mainly due to the high level of flavonoid antioxidants it contains, which provide far-reaching benefits due to lowering oxidative stress.
1. Packs an Antioxidant Punch
Noni and grapeseed oil are two sources that provide a variety of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, beta-carotene, catechins and flavonoids. Foods that provide antioxidants help reduce damage caused to cells due to oxidative stress, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Because oxidative stress is linked to so many health problems, benefits of noni juice may include lowering your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related macular degeneration. Recently, it’s also been associated with reductions in obesity and obesity-associated metabolic dysfunction, thanks to its positive influence on the microbiome and gut health.
2. May Fight Pain Associated with Tumors
Can noni juice cure cancer? While there isn’t evidence that it’s a cancer treatment, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that noni — as well as ginkgo biloba, isoflavones, pomegranate and grapeseed extract — may be cancer-fighting foods that can help with prevention by supporting the immune system.
In particular, the anticancer properties of anthraquinones, such as ucidin, alizarin, and rubiadin, make noni a superfruit of interest.
Anthraquinones, which are naturally occurring phenolic compounds, have been found to possibly prevent glucose from entering tumor cells, preventing metastasis, ultimately leading to cell death. This, in turn, is helpful in slowing the growth of cancer cells. Though research suggests that these compounds may help reduce pain and fatigue associated with cancer, it does not seem to reduce tumor size.
Anthraquinones are most commonly found in noni seeds and leaves. Unfortunately, a study published by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that some products containing noni may lack anthraquinones due to processing methods.
3. Combats Inflammation and Boosts Immunity
Research in the Journal of Natural Products showed that fermented noni fruit juice contains “a new fatty acid, a new ascorbic acid derivative, and a new iridoid glycoside, a metabolite important for metabolism,” along with 13 other compounds.
The study demonstrated detoxification benefits of noni due to the presence of enzymes known as quinone reductase. This suggests that noni juice can act as a strong anti-inflammatory food.
These traits may help reduce the effects of arthritis, according to research studies. By adding noni juice into your diet, you may be able to reduce symptoms tied to inflammation such as joint pain.
Additionally, the amino acids found in noni can help boost the immune system. Noni contains 17 amino acids, but the serine, arginine and methionine found in noni are particularly useful in keeping the body strong.
4. May Help Reduce Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
In a study conducted on cigarette smokers, a group known to be at particularly high risk for compromised heart health, findings revealed much lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides after the smokers consumed noni for 30 days.
Overall findings demonstrate that noni juice benefits the cardiovascular system by lowering inflammation in the body. There’s also evidence that it can help to decrease high blood pressure. It seems to support maintenance of normal blood pressure thanks to its antioxidant activity and positive effects on inflammation pathways.
Finally, this fruit has been associated with improved tolerance for exercise and endurance, while decreasing joint pain and fatigue, according to a 2018 study. This implies that it may help people stick to healthy habits that can benefit both their weight and heart.
5. Might Prevent Parasitic Disease
Because of the rich supply of phenolic and aromatic compounds it contains, drinking noni juice may help prevent parasitic diseases, such as the type called leishmaniasis that occurs most often in tropical areas and southern Europe.
Researchers are now interested in using foods and natural supplements to provide protection against parasites since drug resistance and complications caused by medications are becoming more common.
According to publications released by the University of Hawaii, 100 grams of pure noni juice contains about:
- 15 calories
- 3.5 grams carbohydrates
- 1.5 grams sugar
- 34 milligrams vitamin C (15 percent DV)
Noni fruit also provides small amounts of B vitamins, folate, calcium and potassium, in addition to certain fatty acids and amino acids (serine, arginine and methionine).
And most importantly, as explained above, it provides powerful antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, beta-carotene, catechins, and more.
Noni goes by several names around the world, including morinda, Indian mulberry, hog apple and canary wood. Its Latin name, however, is Morinda citrifolia.
The noni tree has many traditional uses in tropical countries, where various parts were used to treat intestinal issues, wounds and injuries to the skin, and swollen parts of the body affected by arthritis or poultices. Tahitian-sourced noni juice is also associated with reported health benefits including increased energy, improved well-being, fewer infections, improved sleep, and reduced asthma symptoms.
In recent years, this fruit has become a pretty big moneymaker, representing a $3 billion industry. A plant pathologist, Scot Nelson, from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, claims at around $1 per fluid ounce, noni is responsible for “one of the world’s highest profit-margins for juice beverages.”
In addition to the juice, noni has become a popular supplement, mostly found dried and in powder. To achieve this, a patent reports that it starts from picking the fruit from the tree to a lengthy process of drying the leaves and eventually grinding them into a fine powder.
How to Use
Where can you buy noni juice? Some of the most popular types are grown in Hawaii, Polynesian Islands, and Tahiti and Costa Rica. If you aren’t visiting these countries, look for noni products in health food stores or online.
- Noni products are sold all over the world, especially in North America, Mexico, Asia and Australia where the supplements have gained popularity.
- Most often it’s consumed as a healing tonic by drinking the juice.
- In addition to its fruit juice, noni is made into fruit leather. It’s made from the fruit’s dehydrated pulp and crushed leaves and can be found in natural medicines and cosmetics.
- It’s also sometimes consumed as a supplement in powder form or capsules.
- Noni oil is another option; it’s produced from pressed seeds and used topically in many products, including shampoos.
How to drink noni juice:
This fruit juice is usually combined with other juices to improve the taste.
Noni may remind you of a mango in size and color, but it doesn’t contain the sweetness that the mango holds. The fruit is bitter, and this is why it’s really more of a healing tonic than a refreshing juice beverage.
You can juice fresh noni fruit at home if you have a juicer, or you can purchase already-made noni juice at specialty grocery stores or online. Some juices are fermented which can result in higher concentrations of healthy bacteria, although studies suggest the level of microbiological substances and antioxidants depends on the exact type of noni and processing methods used.
How much should you drink? Most people should aim to stick to about 6 to 8 ounces daily, which has been associated with health improvements and won’t contribute too much sugar to your diet. That being said, up to 25 ounces daily seems to be safe for most adults, as demonstrated in certain studies.
Here’s how to make noni juice at home:
- It takes about six noni fruits to yield eight ounces of juice.
- By adding some fresh lemon juice or grape juice, you can create a more pleasant taste.
- You can also add chopped noni to your smoothie, morning yogurt or oatmeal, or cook it in your vegetables sautéed and serve it over rice.
Try this recipe below for a “Polynesian Superfruit Shake” using noni juice:
- ¼ cup noni fruit, chopped or ¼ cup of noni juice
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup fresh pineapple
- ¼ cup fresh mango
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- Handful of kale or spinach
- 1 scoop protein powder made from bone broth
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon raw local honey
- Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- You can add a few ice cubes if you prefer it chilled or use frozen bananas for a thicker shake.
Here are a couple more noni juice recipes to try:
Risks and Side Effects
Is noni juice safe? Most people tolerate it well, but side effects may be possible if too much is consumed at once.
More research is needed overall, as there are many claims about this fruit that are unsupported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some reports indicate that it may cause liver problems and should be avoided if you have liver disease. Make sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider if you’re taking medications to manage a chronic disease.
Though there have been reports of toxicity concerns of noni, it’s been concluded that noni juice probably won’t cause complications due to toxicity. Regardless, it’s best to check with your doctor, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or experiencing any health complications.
- What is noni juice? It’s a fruit juice made from a bitter fruit that grows on a tropical plant in the same plant family as coffee. It’s high in antioxidants, as well as some amino acids and vitamin C.
- It’s often found in combination with grape juice, since this helps hide the unpleasantly bitter taste it possesses.
- It can also be found in various forms: juice, powdered capsules, tablets, teas, and dried fruit leathers.
- Benefits of noni juice may include: lowering joint pain and skin conditions, supporting the immune system, boosting heart health, and protecting against risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes such as high cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides.
- While it’s usually well-tolerated, noni juice side effects are possible when you consume too much. Stick to small servings of about 8 ounces daily.
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